Food stress – who needs it! As a Nutritionist and Weight Loss Coach I see many people who spend so much time worrying and confused over their food choices, especially when they are trying to make the best ones for their weight and health.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our only food thoughts were positive? If food bought only the sense of pleasure and nourishment it should?
Sadly, the reality is that most of us think about what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat and struggle over our choices far, far too often. Our food thoughts are often negative. Should we have eaten that? Did we have too little or too much of carbs/fats/protein? Our food feelings often encompass guilt and weakness and we often regret what we have eaten and drunk. In other words food becomes a source of anxiety and confusion.
Negative thoughts regarding food can affect every aspect of our lives when they command so much of our time and energy. Wouldn’t you love to have these precious limited resources spent on more life enhancing activities, our families, friends, interests and overall enjoyment of life?
My mission at YOUtrition, is to work with clients to change their MINDSET, about food. Weight loss is as simple as changing the way you eat. Changing the way you eat is a simple as changing the way you THINK about the way that you eat.
The most effective way of changing the way we THINK about food it to listen to our bodies and not to all the food noise around us. Rely on our instinct for our food choices and not give in to our intellect – our intellect takes in all the marketing hype, all the celebrity diets, all the magazines. We know if the diet is out there, it must have worked for some. Those “some” have either genuinely found a lifestyle that works for them for now, or more likely have stuck to the plan, seen the scales go down (and that does not necessarily mean body fat loss, more likely if it was a quick fix, they have lost water which will be regained instantly) and whilst they may be slim for a time, they are unlikely to be zinging with good health and energy or be able to maintain the level of food thought/exercise regime it took to get them there – and they know it – buy hey, they’re slim (for a while……)! When we know how to listen to our bodies, we will automatically make healthier choices and by making one healthier choice and feeling and seeing the benefits, we are more likely to make more healthier choices and build a solid stable of healthier habits that will keep us slim for life. Our poor bodies do not want the junk/sugar/pre-packed “foods” – they literally do not know what to do with this non-food so can only store the stuff as fat.
My top tips to turn down the loud food noises out there are;
- Ignore ALL the marketing hype. The commercials, the magazines, the diet clubs. They are all selling products not food.
- Remember that one size does not fit all. What works for one person may not work for you and if it doesn’t work for you, it is because it is not right for YOU. It is not a failure on your part.
- Listen to your body. Your amazing body will tell you what it wants, when it wants and how much it wants if you only you learn how to LISTEN. Eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty and not for any other reason.
- If you find yourself in a situation where food is everywhere, get busy. Offer to hand round drinks, introduce yourself to new people – do not eat just because food is in front of you.
- Tell your friends and family that you are really taking stock of your health and you would love their support. I find that saying you are on a diet does not work well. Some people feel threatened – if you can do it, so should they. Saying you are taking care of your health seems to have a very different reaction.
- In a situation where food is usually the glue of the social event, arrange to do something different with friends. Go for a walk in the woods, arrange to go to a dance class together and have a coffee afterwards instead of wine. Find something else you can all do together that better benefits your weight and health.
Change the way you talk to yourself, tell yourself;
- I know my body best, not someone who has never met me and doesn’t know my life. I might listen to what others tell me, but I will make decisions based only on me.
- I am doing the best for my body I can.
- I am in control of my food choices and I am completely responsible for the consequences.
- I AM going to be slim and healthy and no-one is going to stop me. I love having better sleep and more energy.
- And finally, “I am doing this because I deserve to be and feel the best I can about myself”